Monday, January 28, 2008

What's Local at Whole Foods

In the Valley of the Shadow of Corporate Food Location

The relatively new Whole Foods located in Northbrook at the intersection of Techny and Willow is nearly surrounded by facilities of Kraft Food. Planned? Anyways, needing to do some shopping and looking for a quick bite on the way home from Northbrook Court, we stopped there last night.

First of all, let me confess that I transgressed big time. Of all the foods for sale including buffalo shrimps, "smoked" brisket, tired panini, and Asian noodle bowls (at least), nothing quite appealed. So I went with a standard, salad bar. What could be more non-local. And I sure paid a price. Tasteless trayf. Still, any trip to Whole Foods is a trip to see how they are holding to their commitment to sell local.

It's not that Chicago area Whole Foods are local-free. There's always Amish milk from Iowa; good Wisconsin cheeses like those from Antigo or Brunkow's great spreads; even locally made pasta, but when I hear local, I think foremost of fruits and vegetables. In that vein, in the look on the bright side vein, Whole Foods was not barren. They were selling, last night, not one, but two types of Michigan apples. For the Whole Foods-ish price of $1.99/lb, they had heavily waxed McIntoshes and more natural looking Fuji. We bought four of the latter just to show our support.

In turn for my support, Whole Foods, how 'bout you doing this for me (I know you read my blog). Start buying salad mixes produced locally, in hoop houses--try Growing Power. Don't tell me you cannot find local potatoes, the local wholesaler has them. What I really want is for someone to pack away and store, at better conditions than can be had at a suburban home, turnips, beets, rutabagas, etc. Be my root cellar and I will pay your prices. And while I'm at it, local ham is all the rage, why are you not selling it?

What's local around you?

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